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tv   The War Room With Jennifer Granholm  Current  January 17, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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something to do with it, because thieves are lazy, they're pieces of (bleep). so they're gonna go look for the easiest way to make some money and to get to our place, it's just too much work for them. yeah, it's like when you got a bike. you put a lock on it, well that's just a little extra little thing. you don't put a lock on it, then sure.. somebody's gonna (bleep) take it. same kind of thing you know? hopefully. oh no, that's a fact dude. we didn't get robbed. (bleep)in' a.
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," the far rights response to any proposal put forward by the president has become so predictable, so set in stone that any description of it is merely a matter of filling in the blanks. the american people overwhelm overwhelmingly support gun safety reform. congression analyst republicans will do everything they can to stop gun safety reform. they'll do this in part because they're beholdened to special interest groups. in this case the national rifle association. and it had hurt them in the polls especially among women and it can be described as dume, stupid, what are you thinking
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fail system over load. system overload. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> jennifer: well, yesterday the president showed strong resolve in calling for new gun safety legislation, and today the republicans reacted by going completely out of their minds as humorist andy borowitz they are now accusing president obama for using his position as president to lead the country the whole earth. >> i think president obama may have this "king kong" complex developing, and we're going to make sure it doesn't happen. >> we completely lost our checks and balances in this country. the congress needs to hold the president accountable so the decisions he's making right now. >> as i said before, i'm going to arm all my deputies, i said
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this about this with automatic weapons and semiautomatic weapons to fight back. i don't care what they say from washington. >> jennifer: actually, think about the demographic politics from the last election. what do the broad array of critics, what do they have in common besides the obvious. [ whistling ] they are all white they're all male. thank goodness not all white males think the way they do. the fist shakers not just rush limbaugh but those in congress, too, are made up mostly of that demographic group and those demographics mirror the nra itself. the nra's board is 80% male and
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85% white. the overwhelm majority of congress men's are republicans on theare the as. and on the other end of the spectrum, the the majority of fs went to democrats. it seems like the nra is not only not representative of the full american demographic but data suggests that it is out of step with the rest of the country as well. on this issue of gun safety. new polls show that the majority of americans support the president's gun safety proposals. new poll out today 85% support closing the gun show loophole. 55% support a ban on semi semi
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automatic weapons. when you look at just women it's more dramatic. 50% of men support a ban on assault weapons and more women then men support closing the gun show loophole. the republican party ignores those numbers on this issue at its peril. the majority of americans actually like the way the president is doing his job. his approval rating out again today is 52%. by the way that's the highest it's been since the very early months of his presidency. so it looks like the gun lobby's attacks are not dragging the president down, and frankly they might be making him stronger.
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today vice president joe biden said the administration will continue to make gun safety a priority. >> i know you've come to talk about a broad range of very important, challenging issues that are facing each of your cities and towns. as important as they all are today we have a more urgent and immediate call. that is how to deal with the epidemic of gun violence in america. >> jennifer: so even though the public is behind gun safety measures broadly there is still this little matter of getting legislation through congress. now house republicans are girding for a fight as you can tell and they very well might win. they do control the house after all. even if reasonable republicans support pragmatic gun measures when those reasonable republicans stay quiet the extremists speak for the party. here's, for example representative stockman who is responding to the president's
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press conference. >> if he thinks his bills are good his law is good, then he should go through congress. not just issue it. he's not a king. even using children reminds me of saddam hussein when he uses kids. >> jennifer: the question that comes out of all of this is whether the president should fight for rational policy that he knows will not pass an irrational house of representatives. and the answer to that question is really in a painting by grace mcdonald a sick-year-old sandy hook victim whose dad gave the president a piece of her art work. >> obama: when i look at that painting i think about grace. i think about the life that she lived, the house that layed ahead of her and most of you willall ithink about protecting the most vulnerable among us we must act now. >> jennifer: for grace this fight is worth waging.
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for her this fight may be worth losing in the short term any way. while the president may might be able to squeak out a small ugly bill riddled with hoop holes and signifying nothing perhaps this instance it's better to stand strong against assault rifles even when you know you're not going to get the votes in congress. because it is a noble cause. it is better to lose with grace than to win ugly. because every day the extremeists froth about saddam hussein and king and impeachment on assault rifles, they make the case to every-day americans that these republican americans are less interested in protecting children than in protecting ak-47 assault rifles. and americans will be able to do something about it in 2014.
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for many parents and women in particular speaker pelosi is a much more rationalter native than the nra the holden stable of angry men that occupy the majority of house of representatives today. for more on this i'm joined by michael tomas can tomasky. he's coming to us from washington, d.c. welcome inside "the war room." >> thank you so much nice to see you. >> jennifer: nice to see you too. do you think the gun issue will exacerbate the republican's republican party's problem with women? >> yes not only with women but americans, men too. men, as you noted in your introduction support some of these measures in lower numbers but they support them. the majority of men support this background check idea, and closing the gun show loophole
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and limiting clips and half the men support the assault weapons ban. but it's particularly with women, you're right and you know this is just an excessive obscene situation where you have basically, governor, two-thirds of the country supporting x. this group of measures. two-thirds of the country. one-third of the country opposing it, but that one-third is vastly over represented in congress, and that over-representative bunch is just not going to budge. the will of the people is just not going to happen. i don't want to say he definitively. >> jennifer: yes, there seems to be some cracks in the armor. at least there is a willingness to take this fight to the people. as the president has suggested if the people demand a vote and hold people accountable the question is can you get a vote in the house of representatives
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and do you think michael, it is worth it for the president to bring the fight to congress even if he knows he's going to lose? >> i do. i absolutely do. i think you were very eloquent. i didn't mean to sound defeatist defeatist, i meant to sound mad and frustrateed. i do think if the obama coalition, if the obama-voting coalition is really mobilized really energy "id" to lobby for this fight and call their members of congress, and call their senators, and get out there andage and agitate it may be prove to be bigger than the nra. we had seen it with boehner and he let something come to the floor. i don't want to say that it's impossible at this point. it is a very steep uphill climb
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but i don't want to say that it's impossible. even if it does lose you're absolutely right that it's better to a fought the good fight, a. and b it shows them for what they are and paints them so much more marginal in the eyes of so many more americans. >> i do think taking the fight to people will empower rational gun owners of which the vast majority are, and those reasonable republicans of which maybe not all in congress, but the vast majority are, you mentioned this issue about john boehner having brought up two bills so far this month the fiscal cliff and the sandy relief bill without the majority of his majority behind it. if he brought up a vote on this issue would his speakership be at risk? >> oh, yes it probably would be.
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then of course is the debt ceiling vote. you see a lot of americans making noises about backing down from the debt ceiling fight. i know we're not here to talk about that, but it's interesting how the conventional wisdom has shifted on that. it's just another sign of the shifting sand. it all hinges on the american people turns. is he going to out to the country on his proposals? how much political capital is he going to put into it. if they feel pressure, he'll bring a vote. >> jennifer: i think he will too. to take you back not to the fiscal cliff but the debt ceiling issues that the republicans do seem to be going soft on. i do think one of the reasons why they went soft was because traditionally republican
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lobbying groups were coming out. i wonder if there are traditionally republican groups like law enforcement organizations, the police associations who might tend to be conservative, if they came out strong and spoke if the faith community came out strong and spoke, they may shake a little bit. let's talk about senator cruise thinks is going to happen as a result of the gun debate. >> i think the consequence i think he's going to pay a serious political price. and i think the price that's going to be paid on this is going to manifest in senate races in 2014. >> jennifer: so your take on that. he's flipping that argument on its head. he thinks it will benefits republicans rather than cause them to lose seats. >> no, i don't see that.
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but the democrats and the obama organizations, they really have to get out the vote for 2014 it has to be impressed on democratic and progressive voters that they have to vote in off-year elections in the numbers that they vote in presidential elections. that is important work that must be done and i hope it's being done right now by the obama people and the democratic people. if that work is done, and those people do turn out to vote, then ted cruz is wrong. but ted could be right if they vote in numbers like in 2010. >> jennifer: in 2010 democrats stayed home and you get what you got in congress. michael, thank you so much for coming inside "the war room." i love your columns. in the 34 days since the tragedy in newtown, 34 days, the number
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now 1013 americans have died as a result of gun violence. 34 days. 17-year-old tyrone lawson is one of them. wgn reports that the senior at morgan park high school was shot twice in the back outside of chicago state unfortunate last night. he was attending a high school basketball game, and the basketball game was moved to the university side. shots from fired in the bargain lot and tyrone is now dead. tyrone was an honor student and hoped to study engineering in college. his life was cut down like the other 1012 people who have been casualties of this senseless gun violence in america since sandy hook.
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>> jennifer: the massacre at sandy hook elementary prompted the latest effort to tackle gun safety and while the deaths of 20 school children shock the nation shootings are unfortunately way too common in many urban areas of the country. for example the crime in chicago blog reports 16 school children have been shot so far this year. that's almost one a day. five of them were killed. in oakland california, there have been 13 homicide since sandy hook. today the police were unable to break down how many of those in oakland from shootings but we do know from over the past weekend 11 people were wounded in gun violence. and last friday four people died in oakland shootings over the span of six hours. with us now is oakland's congresswoman democrat barbara
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lee. welcome inside "the war room"." i only wish you were here on set. >> pleased to be with you. >> jennifer: well, let's talk about the gun issue first because you do represent an area that has been certainly in the crosshairs, if you will, of gun violence. do you expect this latest round of gun safety efforts promoted by the president and vice president, to actually have an impact on urban violence? >> jennifer quite frankly i'm optimistic that we'll be able to move something forward. of course, we know what the political dynamics are here in the house of representatives but i think the american people, and i think every poll has shown since the horrific tragedy in newtown that people want at least background checks. they want assault weapons off of the streets. assault weapons have no place. these military-type of weapons.
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what in the world are they doing on the streets of oakland, for example. our community, chicago other urban communities, they have been war zones for many years and we've been crying out the people in my district want peace and they want an end to the violence but it will take federal efforts. the first thing we have to do is look at the proposals that the president has submitted. and i hope he does initiate executive action because getting bills through congress again given the composition of tea party congress, they say no to everything. it will be an uphill battle but it will be very important to not only to my community but the culture of violence and to get guns off the streets. >> jennifer: do you think from a political point of view if it starts in the senate and comes over to the house and it has some bipartisan support would
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john boehner put it up for a vote in the house? >> i think that's going to depend on the american people. that's going to depend on the president, and all of us and how we do our work. it will depend on mobilization and organization and grassroots efforts. i tell you i've seen things turn around, quite frankly pretty quickly when those e-mails and marchs and those protests begin. so i have to be optimistic that we can do it. it's not going to be because the tea party republicans are going to vote for it. it will be the moderate republicans who will hear from their constituenting saying enough is enough. >> jennifer: i totally agree with you. all you viewers out there. it's up to you to make your voice heard, too. let me quickly change subjects. the "washington post" is reporting that the tea party express has moved back from the
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debt ceiling. do you think that concession will be enough for the rest of the house republicans to join the democrats for a solution on the debt ceiling. >> we've always raised the debt ceiling. we should pay our bills as the president said, we're not a dead-bet country. i'm glad they finally saw the light. we need to pay our bills and move forward. there is a stronghold of 75 republican tea party members who quite frankly do listen to the tea party in many ways, and hopefully this is a signal that they too need to understand that this should not be an issue. it should not be held honestly. hostage. we should raise the debt ceiling. that's an automatic. we should move forward and talk about how we create jobs. by creating jobs we reduce the deficit. >> jennifer: i'm take taking it as
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an encouraging sign that the tea party can be moved by public voices. if they can be moved on the debt ceiling of all things, maybe they could be moved on guns. you wrote in the "huffington post," advocating reducing defense spending so you can spend more money and invest in the united states. the question is in the negotiations in congress over the spending do you see that happening? >> we've got to make it happen. again, it's got to be the voice of the american people that will make it happen. people don't realize that 60% of our discretionary money go to the defense. wewe need and want a strong defense, with you but quite frankly out dateed cold war-era weapons can be taken off the table. there are many many ways we can save money with defense in our
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pentagon budget, and never even touch anything that would affect our troops and their benefits and their families or national defense. nothing is off of the table and we have to under that defense can't be off of the table. we have to keep defense on the table as part of the negotiations as we move forward. i cannot accept a plan that's going to cut domestic spending by 8%. but i can look at a plan that looks at waste fraud and abuse cuts in the pentagon that will create jobs in our country and invest in infrastructure, education, healthcare rather than investing in cold war-era weapons systems that are now obsolete. >> jennifer: i hope they listen to you. barbara lee joining us. thank you for joining us.
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up next, leon panetta calls suicide in this country an epidemic and the numbers bear them out. but in the gun safety debate numbers don't change things, people do. kim's husband jim was a casualty of that crisis. she's joining us next with her story. his ability, is trying to look out for us.
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